Fender unites with Lexus for limited-edition Master Built Lexus LC Stratocaster

Fender has unveiled its Lexus LC Stratocaster – a limited-edition electric guitar constructed by Custom Shop master builder Ron Thorn in partnership with the Japanese car manufacturer.

The striking axe, of which only 100 will be made available, aims to reflect Lexus’s penchant for “bold design, intuitive technology and Takumi craftsmanship” by way of some eye-catching aesthetic features and neat under-the-hood appointments.

In terms of design, the body features an “omnidirectional” Structural Blue finish – the same colorway found on the Lexus LC 500 coupe car – which encompasses a spectral range that includes hues from light metallic and deep midnight blue.

Despite the abundance of “blue” there, Fender insists there isn’t actually an ounce of blue material within the paint – what you see is merely a result of the way the light interferes with multiple layers of colorless materials. 

The unique Structural Blue finish is also used on the headstock, which is paired with a chrome Fender logo and locking tuners. A graphite nut also makes the cut.

Genuine blue is used for the fretboard, however, which is a deep-blue polished Richlite 'board. Intriguingly, the spec marks the first time Richlite has been utilized for a Custom Shop build.

A slightly more conventional, but by no means any less flashy, feature is the 3A flame maple neck – an appointment that taps into Fender’s vintage vibe – which is topped with a flat 12.5” radius, 22 medium jumbo stainless steel frets and Luminlay fingerboard inlays that, unsurprisingly, glow blue.

Elsewhere, the automotive aesthetic is further propped up by the black button head-fastened carbon fiber pickguard and machined-brushed aluminum knobs, the latter of which pays homage to the controls found on the car’s Mark Levinson stereo.

While on the topic of parameter controls, the Lexus Strat streamlines the orthodox configuration by utilizing only two controls –  master volume and master tone – which are paired with a five-way pickup switch.

These are wired to three latest-iteration Noiseless single-coils – again, the first time such an appointment has been found on a Master Built custom – which line up alongside a two-point black-saddle brushed aluminum tremolo system and a Lexus-embossed neck plate.

Said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development, Fender Custom Shop, “Collaborating with Lexus to conceptualize, design and build the Fender Lexus LC Stratocaster has been an incredible ride.

“The process our team took to design this Strat has certainly been a labor of love, as well as a source of inspiration and excitement around the shop,” he continued. “Our team is constantly building innovative products and this launch is another great representation of craftsmanship and creativity at Fender.”

Vinay Shahani, Vice President of Lexus Marketing, added, “Fender is a legendary brand that has made an indelible mark in the world of music.  As such, Lexus is honored to team with them in the development of this unique guitar that highlights our brand’s unique design cues and Structural Blue paint technology.”

The Master Built Lexus LC Stratocaster will be available for $6,000. To find out more, visit Fender Custom Shop.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.